2. Wilmot United
473 rue King Street, Fredericton (1852)
The first Methodist church built on this site burned in 1850. The present church was built as a Methodist church in 1852, but in 1925 joined other denominations to become part of the United Church of Canada. The church has been referred to “as a centre of sweet calm amid the bustle of business, people and traffic in downtown Fredericton”.
This church was dedicated on December 19, 1852. It is described as ‘carpenter Gothic’, being wholly framed in wood. Inside it has retained the rectangular configuration of the early Methodist and Congregational meeting houses. It was said to seat 1,000 people when built, but today they claim 750 seats. The box pews, with doors, have been maintained. Originally they were rented to people of the congregation.
Until 1973 the 206 foot spire was surmounted by a gigantic, carved wooden hand, with the index finger pointing to heaven. The hand was modeled after Judge Lemuel Allan Wilmot’s hand. He was instrumental, both financially and as a leader in the Methodist church, in having this church built. Unfortunately, both spire and hand deteriorated to the point of being unsafe. They were removed, but not replaced. The hand is on display inside the church.
One of the church’s many treasures is a stained glass window that was installed in 1913. It was designed by the prominent English designer, William Morris and shipped over from England.
Wilmot United Church is a National Historic Site